First and foremost, this post is assuming a couple things. One, that you know what online shopping is, since you are reading a blog and using a computer…with your hands. And two, that you’ve heard of Amazon.com, because internets. If these assumptions are incorrect, please turn around now and find your nearest grand-kid to teach you…haha!
Personally, 2014 has been quite an adventure, with trips around the world and changes galore! Unlike me, the internet’s perennial constant, Amazon.com, has once again asked me to subscribe to Prime membership for 2015! Was it worth it?
I would like to vouch for Amazon Prime for a moment, so if you already know the deal or have a membership, skip over this paragraph. Amazon Prime has changed the way shopping is done in the US because for $99/year, you can have (almost) anything shipped to you within a few days for free! I am a huge advocate for Prime because it can save you time (saving you trips to the store), energy, stress, and even helps the environment (in my theory, less trips to the store mean less gas)! It’s different than regular Amazon Free Shipping because you don’t have a minimum order and they upgrade your shipping to a few days.
[section_title heading=”h2″]Some Things I Bought This Year[/section_title]
Toiletries: Instead of making a trip to Longs, I buy my TP and toiletries on Amazon. Of course, this requires a little planning so I don’t run out, but you shouldn’t run out regardless where you buy it, right?! This was especially good when I lived in a condo because I didn’t want to store a million Costco rolls in my small place!
Tech Gear: Yes, it might help to go play with it at Best Buy, but in the end, Amazon is usually cheaper than box stores. It does help to keep an eye on deal sites when you’re looking for something specific, and Amazon usually matches the best deals anyway.
Office Supplies: This was big for my year because I ordered a lot of office supplies for ‘IOLANI Sportswear. If you have several people that need access to ordering items, Amazon allows you to designate different logins for people to use your Amazon Prime free shipping.
Household Items: Just like toiletries, this saves you time and energy making trips to the store. As long as you plan a couple days ahead, like when you’re on your last box of home dry cleaning, you’ll never have to worry about running out!
Gifts: Finally, I buy most of my gifts on Amazon because it’s a one-stop shop for everything I would be looking for. Housewarming? Plungers, check. Kid’s birthday? Legos, check. Themed Christmas party? Camoflauge scarf, check! It’s like having a personal shopper deliver it right to your door for free!
[section_title heading=”h2″]Final Points[/section_title]
Shipping to Hawai‘i: If you buy something from Amazon.com (or if it says “shipped from Amazon.com”) then my experience has never been longer than 2-3 business days. If you buy from one of their vendors however, you are at their mercy. Personally, I try to avoid those vendors as much as possible, so my free shipping experience has been excellent! Heck, for $99 a year, there’s no way you could pay someone to buy all these items for you and deliver them to your door in a couple days…
Points: I would also recommend getting the Amazon.com Visa card so you can start earning points towards all your Amazon purchases. Basically, how it works for me, is that I buy daily goods using the card (full points list here), then order my toiletries and household goods for free using the points. I used to have an airline miles card, but I did the math and this made more sense for my lifestyle.
Other Benefits: Amazon’s kicker for the argument is their added services (full list here). The $99 is well worth the video and music catalog you get access to, so the free shipping is really a bonus to me! The app on the phone is also an added benefit, because when I pop open something like my last box of dry cleaning, I just use the app to scan the barcode and order another one!
Downsides: There are a few household items you cannot order on Prime, like big-size laundry detergent, and you can’t have anything with food in it sent here yet. I tried ordering coconut water once, and was denied because it’s considered a grocery item. Guess I still need Safeway for some things.
[section_title heading=”h2″]Was it Worth it?![/section_title]
For me, yes. Even though I missed all those months on the road, I still ordered 30 items using Prime, coming out to UPS/FedEx shipping at $3.30/item (as a comparison, flat-rate USPS envelope is around $5). Add the other factors like gas, time, energy, and all the other benefits you get with Prime and I would say it’s well worth it! 2015 here I come!